Shot 3 times, home invasion victim chases attackers, suspect apparently kills self
BY STEVE METSCH Sun-Times Mediafirstname.lastname@example.org May 10, 2013 7:06AM
Updated: June 13, 2013 6:37PM
It’s a high octane tale more likely scripted for a 3D movie screen than a real-life upscale neighborhood in a normally quiet Orland Park neighborhood.
Being shot three times — with wounds to his hand, arm, shoulder and leg — didn’t stop an Orland Park man from getting into his van and chasing the armed invaders who broke into his south suburban home during the early morning hours Friday and stole from him.
On Friday night, suspect Anthony M. “A-Train” Espinoza, 27, was found fatally shot in his northwest Indiana home, officials said. Authorities believe Espinoza killed himself as they approached his East Chicago home about 8 p.m. A person ran from the home and told officers Espinoza shot himself in his head.
Dressed in dark clothing, two men forced their way into the home and shot a 30-year-old man who lived there, police said. They, and a driver, made off with several items from the home and sped away in a Silver PT Cruiser, police said.
“He was an angry man that this took place and decided to pursue and identify them if he could. He said he was going to ram their vehicle,” Orland Park Police Chief Tim McCarthy said.
The men forced their way through a side door at the home in the 10900 block of Antelope Lane about 2:50 a.m. Friday, Orland Park police said.
Shots were fired in a bedroom after “a brawl” broke out. The man’s fiance, who was also in the room, was uninjured. Two children — ages 5 and 6 — and a nanny also were home at the time and were not injured, police said.
The shooting victim then got into his van and chased the robbers’ PT Cruiser. The men shot at the victim three times as he pursued them: once at 179th and Wolf Road, at 179th and about 110th and again at La Grange Road and Interstate 80, McCarthy said. The man finally lost site of the robbers on I-80 around Harlem, McCarthy said.
Police said the victim — who owns a car-customizing business and sometimes parked expensive vehicles in the driveway — was targeted. He was taken with non-life threatening injuries to Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox.
“We have no indication at this time that the victim or his family were involved in any type of illegal activity. He is a businessman,” McCarthy said, “an innocent victim.”
Steve Roger Smith, of Bridgeview, owns the house where the shooting took place and rents it to the victim. They’ve never had problems, he said.
“I have no idea what happened. The police told us they’d call us when they know something. I couldn’t tell you who, what, or why,” Smith, 42, said. “We hope he’s OK.”
Nevertheless, residents on Antelope Lane awoke Friday morning to an alarming and very unfamiliar sight — police crime tape wrapped around one of the lane’s palatial homes.
“Oh my God, it doesn’t happen,” said one concerned nearby resident, who didn’t want her name used.
The neighbor, who said she’s lived in her home for a decade, described the lane as a “typical suburban community.” In the warmer months, “Everyone is either out planting or playing.”
A man who lives two doors down from the home said the Deer Park Estates subdivision is normally quiet.
“That’s why I moved out here from Chicago, to get away from crime,” 79-year-old Stanley Dybas said. “But crime is all over now these days. Shooting. Rape. All kinds of stuff.”
Dybas, who moved onto the block in December 2003, said he didn’t know the man who was shot in the brick home with a three-car garage and well-manicured landscaping.
But, Dybas said, he and some neighbors have on occasion called the police to complain about vehicles in the driveway parking over the sidewalk.
“I know the post office and United Parcel Service deliver a lot of stuff,” Dybas said.
A letter carrier said packages were often picked up mat the house, “usually custom car parts and LED lights.”
Another neighbor said the man’s arms are covered with tattoos including spider webs on his elbows.
In the meantime, Keating said authorities will continue pursuing leads in the case.
“We have our entire investigation division as well as other agencies assisting us, trying to locate this offender,” Keating said.
Contributing: Sam Charles, Stefano Esposito, Susan DeMar Lafferty and Allison Horton